Laura & Dave's karaoke wedding

June 27 2008 | arielmstallings

Dueting in to our own Ceremony

The offbeat bride: Laura, at the time an office manager and now an offbeat wedding planner!

Her offbeat partner: Dave, Animation Production Coordinator

Location & date of wedding: We were married at a gay karaoke bar called The Boulevard in Pasadena, on 07/07/07 — us and about 38,000 other people thought that was a good idea!

What made our wedding offbeat: We were a straight couple getting married in a gay karaoke bar with a musical theater themed ceremony.

The Fabulous Miss Roxxy
The Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Roxxy.
Not being much for tradition, when it came time to plan our wedding, we completely deconstructed the entire process and put it back together again from scratch. We started by thinking "OK… if we were going to throw a big, fun party that *wasn't* a wedding, where would we do that?" The answer: In a karaoke bar! (We're theater people — need I say more?)

Instead of spending a fortune on invitations, we sent our guests "complimentary VIP tickets" to a show entitled "Music, Love, Cupcakes — A Most Unusual Wedding" We got them through a company out of Canada, custom made and they look just like real concert tix, for about 21 cents each!

Concert "tickets" as invitations.

Backstage Pass
Backstage passes for the bridal support team
We created laminated backstage passes – like you'd see at on roadies at a concert – and had the bar staff, photographer and "bridal posse" wear them.

My dress was a Marilyn Monroe inspired cocktail dress and was $150 from Nordstroms. (And, yes, I WILL wear it again!)

One of the employees of the bar hosts karaoke in drag, and is an AMAZING performer, so we hired her to "host" our show. We dueted in to our own ceremony to Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick!" (My fiance began the song while I hid in back, and then made my big, surprise entrance about half way through!)

Ain't Love a Kick!
Laura making her surprise entrance. Note the microphone veil!
Singing Minister
The singing minister
We found a minister who also happened to be a beautiful singer… or maybe she was a singer who happened to be a beautiful minister… not sure! Regardless, she was willing to marry us and then perform our first dance on acoustic guitar.

And the father of the bride, in keeping with the spirit of it all, wrote and performed his own rap-song (complete with gear and bling) in our honor.

Proud Mary
Proud Mary
Our biggest challenge: *Sigh.* Our/my single biggest challenge was dealing with what I called the "You gotta's." As in, "But you GOTTA wear a wedding gown!" and "You GOTTA have flowers at a wedding!" I really didn't expect that as my family is very small, so it's not like I have sisters and aunts coming out of the woodwork with opinions. But friends I had formerly deemed sane suddenly started acting really weird — like they had all drank the wedding Kool-aid! I even had a minister who I was interviewing over the phone try to talk me out of dueting in to the ceremony. She literally said, "Oh, honey… you don't wanna do that." (Uh… yes… I do. *click*!)

Whatever Laura WantsEveryone knew we were getting married in a karaoke bar, and yet I kept getting asked questions like: "Have you found your florist yet?" And when I would respond "We're not doing flowers — it's a karaoke bar." They… well… their panties got all in a ruffle! People even balked at the fact that we announced the dress code was "casual." So many people, that we ended up including an FAQ on our wedding website that stated "YES, you can wear jeans!"

In the end, I had to learn to roll with it, but I found myself constantly having to remind our friends "I don't GOTTA do nuthin!"

The Unofficial Bridal Party
The unofficial bridal party

My favorite moment: There is a fine line between "making fun of" and "having fun with" your wedding. We were always careful not to cross that line, and our ceremony was very beautiful.

ceremony bw

Will some of them talk? Probably. But, you know what? They're gonna talk anyways. Might as well give them something to talk about!

The moment we were sort of "magically" pronounced husband and wife is what stands out most to me. Our minister, an earth-mother type of woman, had us place our respective hands over each others hearts and hold them there. She then spoke for a minute or two about our love and commitment and then said "as you look in each others eyes and hold each others hearts in your hands, it is at this exact moment… that you have become… husband and wife." I was just kind of a sparkly, romantic moment. (And with all the "show" we had put on, I don't think anyone was expecting such a moving ceremony!)

Bartender Jeff & his Backstage PassMy offbeat advice: My best advice: You don't "gotta" do nuthin' you don't wanna do! I know sometimes it's hard and it seems like everyone has an opinion about your wedding. But if you make yourself nutty trying to please everyone, you will likely fail and will just be miserable yourself.

Rather, if you stay true to yourselves and do what makes YOU happy, the others will follow, and a good time will be had by all! Will some of them talk? Probably. But, you know what? They're gonna talk anyways. Might as well give them something to talk about!

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

  1. There is a fine line between “making fun of” and “having fun with” your wedding.

    This strikes me as a little pearl of wisdom that's worth repeating.

  2. I just want to say, Laura, you are awesome. I keep getting the same weird looks from people when I tell them we're not having flowers, decorations, an official bridal party, that I'm not wearing a foofoo wedding dress, and that people can wear shorts and bathing suits if they want, etc. etc. I'm getting married at my fiance's parents cabin in about a month, and I wish your planning services were in my area!

  3. I love it! Perfectly unique and fun. My favorite pieces of your day would be the tickets and hand-on-heart moment.

  4. I think "“YouGotta’s” is the best expression yet for the way people get Wedding Nazi on you. And Blake is right – There is a fine line between “making fun of” and “having fun with” your wedding. is very wise and worth remembering when you are creating an off beat wedding!

    Congrats on your fantastic wedding Laura! May you be very very happy!

  5. Where can I get those tickets!? We're thinking about getting married in a movie theater/pub (we're theatre people also!) and that would be so perfect for invitations!

  6. The Rebel Belle site/service looks awesome! Just one thing, though…I looked all over the site and didn't see anything about the locations served. Given that the web is global, that info might be a good thing to add. Apologies to Laura if I missed it.

  7. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had the exact same idea!!!! We're having a rock 'n' roll themed wedding. I was already planning on making tickets for invitations and making backstage laminates for my bridal party. I guess great minds think alike! 😉 I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to get the info on the Canadian company that made your tickets. Thank you!!!!!

  8. We're doing tickets too! We bought the pre-perforated paper online, and we're going to print the tickets to coordinate seating arrangements for the ceremony (like A23, F30, etc for the theatre seats) and reception table assignments. And uh…don't be surprised if I give you a call soon. I was just thinking about looking for an offbeat wedding planner/helper!

  9. Hi everyone. Thank you SO much for all the kind words. I cannot tell you how much they mean to me!

    Ok…Becky, Megan, Christine and anyone else who would like to know about the tickets – the company is Ticket Alternative. Click on "event ticket printing" and go from there. Their prices are fantastic, their customer service is top-notch and the finished product is absolutely perfect. The tickets even have the whole "no bottles/cans/cameras" type disclaimer on the back along with a hologram.

    Liz – I'm in the Los Angeles area but that info is located only on the browser tab of my website. I'll look into getting that on the main page. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Ariel – Dave and I give you super-big major thank you for posting our story on the eve of our first anniversary! What a cool present! 🙂

  10. Fabulous! Your guests will always remember your wedding as special and unique unto the two of you. Bet they are still talking about it! It may have been "Offbeat", but it was "right on!"

    Happy Anniversary!

  11. Laura, not only did you plan and execute the wedding of your dreams, you also helped make my wedding an amazing day to remember. You are a great friend, an awesome wedding planner with magical talents to talk to vendors, solve issues, and make diet cokes appear out of thin air.

    Dave may have been my friend first, but you have my heart sister!!! Congratulations on a successful life, marriage, and business.

  12. Ohmigodohmigod the Tickets! THE TICKETS! Awesome! Awesome from soup to nuts. If there was a gay karaoke bar in the Catskills we'd get married there, too…

    …waitaminute. I need to get on that right now…

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